Melissa Muller Daka is a professional cook and gastronomist who specializes in the diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean region. She owes her passion for food to her childhood years in rural Sicily, where she learned the value of being connected to the land. She is a firm believer that "we are what we eat," and that good eating is a cornerstone of living a long and healthful life. Melissa is the Chef Proprietor of Eolo: Sicilia a Tavola in Chelsea, New York.
This simple dish is my adaptation of a classic tomato and egg dish, known around the Mediterranean as “shakshuka.” It is a great dish to make for brunch and serve family-style with grilled or toasted country bread, olives, pickles and plates of hummus or lebane (strained yogurt) for sharing. The dish tastes best when the tomatoes are extra ripe. In fact, it makes a great way to use up tomatoes that are too ripe for a salad. The zucchini can be substituted with other vegetables, depending on the season, such as cauliflower, peppers, butternut squash, swiss chard or spinach.
- 3 Large zucchini (Romanesco or Grey zucchini are best), cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 Ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 Cup Basil and mint, roughly chopped
- 1 Clove garlic, made into a paste
- 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 Farm eggs
- Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, place the zucchini, tomatoes, onion, herbs, garlic and olive oil (reserving about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil for later).
Cook over a low flame for about 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is very tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, by making a indentation with a spoon in the zucchini mixture and placing a raw egg in the indentation.
Sprinkle some salt on each egg. Cover the pot.
Cook for about 5 minutes or more if you don’t like your eggs runny.